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[infowar.de] Microsoft holt sich ehemaligen Top-Cybercop als Ersatz für Howard Schmidt
...der wiederum Vize-Vorsitzender des Critical Infrastructure Protection
Board der US-Regierung wird (wie hier bereits berichtet). RB
By Dan Verton and Deborah Radcliff
Jan. 31, 2002
Computerworld has learned that Microsoft Corp. plans to name Scott
Charney, the former chief of computer crime at the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) and a partner at New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers,
as its new chief security strategist. He replaces Howard Schmidt, who
left the company on Jan. 28 to join the Bush administration (see
Charney confirmed his appointment in a telephone interview this
morning. He assumes his new position on April 1.
The change in title from chief security officer to chief security
strategist does not indicate a major shift in responsibilities, said
Charney. Rather, it's "actually a more accurate description of the
role Howard had been filling," he said. "I will be working to secure
products and services and developing domestic and international
polices that support a more secure infrastructure."
Microsoft officials declined to comment on the appointment this
Sources close to the interview process said that while they wouldn't
necessarily place Charney on the short list of top IT security experts
in the country, he landed the job because of his long career at the
DOJ, where he earned a reputation as a skilled and staunch
antihacking, cybercrime hardliner.
"I realized that [one Microsoft executive] in particular was looking
for someone with significant [government] ties and current contacts,"
said a source close to the selection process. Microsoft "saw Howard
[Schmidt] as unique and wanted to define the position around their
real needs and the strengths of the new [executive]."
Schmidt left Microsoft to become vice chairman of the President's
Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and is admired by many
throughout industry and government for having a rare combination of
technical and interpersonal skills, especially on Capitol Hill.
However, the job search for a new security strategist hasn't gone as
smoothly as the company would have liked, said a senior Microsoft
executive, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It's hard to find somebody who knows the technology and has a little
bit of business sense and can talk to people on Capitol Hill," said
the executive. Senior officials at Microsoft viewed many of the
candidates that applied for Schmidt's position as being good at one
aspect of the job but not others, the executive said.
Eric Friedberg, a former computer crimes coordinator at the DOJ who
reported to Charney indirectly, called him one of the "shining lights"
in information security. "He's got national credibility," said
Friedberg, who credited Charney with developing the DOJ's computer
crime and intellectual property division. "He is responsible for
building the federal prosecutorial infrastructure for computer crimes
Alan Paller, research director at the SANS Institute in Bethesda, Md.,
said Charney is the best candidate to carry on Schmidt's Trusted
Computing initiative -- not because of his technical background but
because of his experience at the DOJ.
"Remember the job [Charney] has to do. He has to get marketing-driven
development people to delay, assess and correct their tools so they do
not cause harm to the outside world," Paller said. "[Charney] is
probably the best guy in the country to pull that off, because he
comes from the purest understanding of the damage that the bad guys
do. What a brilliant choice, because you have to prove to some very
strong-willed people that it's worth doing this right. And who better
than someone who's been in the heat of the battles of computer crime?"
An executive said that Microsoft founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve
Ballmer had considered restructuring the company's security
organization in the aftermath of Schmidt's departure. One option on
the table included hiring two executives to fill the slot, with one
individual focusing strictly on product architecture and the other
taking responsibility for business strategy as well as physical and
According to the executive, Schmidt approached Gates and Ballmer last
year with a proposal to change the role of chief security officer from
one involving oversight of both product and physical security,
including executive protection, to strictly product development.
Although Ballmer initially balked at the idea, Gates eventually agreed
to the proposal and Schmidt shed his physical security
responsibilities, the executive said.
A source with ties to the interview process who asked that his name
not be disclosed confirmed that "the issue of placement and emphasis"
was a primary topic of discussion within Microsoft. However, there
were no indications, the source said, that Gates and Ballmer were in
Charney, who holds degrees in English and history, also considers
himself "more technical than your average lawyer for sure." However,
Charney, the son of a systems administrator who started programming in
Cobol when he was eight, acknowledges that he is "not a
On the technical side, Charney will be supported by a small but elite
team, Paller said. This team includes Eric Schultz, co-author of
Hacking Exposed, David LeBlanc, a Windows security expert formerly
with Internet Security Systems Inc., and Jasper Johansen, a former
SANS faculty member.
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